Day Seven: Farmers Market and Pickles

It was high time to revisit the local market. We live within an easy walk, for goodness’ sake. Pickings were so slim with the summer drought that we stopped going. As we discovered yesterday, that’s all over now. Thanks to mild temperatures and insane amounts of sunshine, the farmers are growing everything they couldn’t in the summer, plus more. The usual winter squashes and greens made a lively appearance, to be sure, but there were more tomatoes than I saw all summer. We even bought a (sadly disappointing) basket of strawberries.

Our total take home was:
Swiss chard
Garlic
Turnips (don’t knock them until you’ve had tiny turnips sliced thin and sauteed in maple syrup)
Strawberries
Dill
Cucumbers
Eggs
Butternut Squash
and maybe another odd or end.

I was pretty pleased. I’m especially interested in the eggs. I’ve been buying humanely-raised supermarket eggs since we moved here, and I’m wondering how much difference there will be. I used to buy farmers market eggs just because I liked the egg guy, who was a young “tough guy” type that stood out in the market like you wouldn’t believe. I never paid particular attention to the quality of those eggs versus my store eggs.

Then I came home and turned those cucumbers into pickles. I’ve never made them before, but I was feeling pretty confident after the marmalade thing. I tasted the first one just now. They aren’t quite as dill-y as I like my pickles, but they’re darned good. I’m putting both the pickles and the marmalade on a list of potential homemade Christmas gifts for this year.

And if that weren’t enough, I also tried making my first yogurt. (Have I mentioned feeling inspired lately?) It’s not bad. And, again, easy enough to make. I was worried that I didn’t have a great way to keep it up to temperature, but I managed. Next time I’ll try to actually document the process. It is a little lumpy, probably because my starter yogurt was also lumpy. I’ll try a different brand in the future. You certainly can’t beat the price–$1.25 for a quart of milk, plus about that much for a container of fancy-ish yogurt yielded a whole quart. That’s 32 oz for $2.25. In individual cups, with the kind of yogurt we buy, 32 oz is more like $6-$7.

 

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